Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Fourth Race

If I had to give a local church a name, and since "Scum of the Earth" is already taken, I'd probably go for "Fourth Race". The name is taken from Aristides, Apol. 2 (Syriac).

Since, then, we have addressed you concerning God, so far as our discourse can bear upon him, let us now come to the race of men, that we may know which of them participate in the truth of which we have spoken, and which of them go astray from it.

This is clear to you, O King, that there are four classes of men in this world:--Barbarians and Greeks, Jews and Christians. The Barbarians, indeed, trace the origin of their kind of religion from Kronos and from Rhea and their other gods; the Greeks, however, from Helenos, who is said to be sprung from Zeus. And by Helenos there were born Aiolos and Xuthos; and there were others descended from Inachos and Phoroneus, and lastly from the Egyptian Danaos and from Kadmos and from Dionysos.

The Jews, again, trace the origin of their race from Abraham, who begat Isaac, of whom was born Jacob. And he begat twelve sons who migrated from Syria to Egypt; and there they were called the nation of the Hebrews, by him who made their laws; and at length they were named Jews.

The Christians, then, trace the beginning of their religion from Jesus the Messiah; and he is named the Son of God Most High. And it is said that God came down from heaven, and from a Hebrew virgin assumed and clothed himself with flesh; and the Son of God lived in a daughter of man. This is taught in the gospel, as it is called, which a short time was preached among them; and you also if you will read therein, may perceive the power which belongs to it. This Jesus, then, was born of the race of the Hebrews; and he had twelve disciples in order that the purpose of his incarnation might in time be accomplished. But he himself was pierced by the Jews, and he died and was buried; and they say that after three days he rose and ascended to heaven. Thereupon these twelve disciples went forth throughout the known parts of the world, and kept showing his greatness with all modesty and uprightness. And hence also those of the present day who believe that preaching are called Christians, and they are become famous.

So then there are, as I said above, four classes of men:--Barbarians and Greeks, Jews and Christians.

Christians constitute an ethnicity of their own where other ethnicities do not matter. Neither Jew nor Gentile, Greek nor Barbarian, American nor Arab. Being among the Christianoi is to have both a religion, an ethnic identity, and a nationality distinct from the world but remaining in the world. This fourth race is meant to be the true Adamic race modelling before the world what God intends humanity to be: redeemed, renewed, transformed and conformed to the image of God's Son.

[On the topic of church names the weirdest one's I've heard of are "Matthew's party" and "The Holy Church of Whooping Satan's Butt". I think I'll stick with "Fourth Race"].


C G said...

Where is 'Scum of the earth'??!

Michael F. Bird said...

"Scum" is mentioned in Craig Blomberg's recent book on table-fellwship and purity in the NSBT series. It might be in Denver!

C G said...

must be an acronym ...

A. B. Caneday said...

Scum of the Earth

thunderbeard said...

yeah, scum is in denver. if i'm not mistaken, the now-defunct ska band five iron frenzy had a hand in getting scum of the earth started.